MINNEAPOLIS -- Want to know why the White Sox are eight games below .500 (among a variety of reasons)?
The offense hasn’t been very clutch, especially of late. The White Sox hope to build of some of the two-out momentum gained in the late innings of a 6-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Not only did the White Sox score four runs with two outs, all from the sixth inning on, they also had their most hits with runners in scoring position in 20 days.
[MORE WHITE SOX: Samardzija, Soto lead White Sox to victory over Twins]
“When you can produce with two outs, it’s very important because that is a difficult moment,” slugger Jose Abreu said through an interpreter. “You probably have the inning on the line, and for us, it’s important. It’s important any time you can produce after two outs. We did it today. I don’t know how to explain, but we did it today, and it’s a good first step.”
Geovany Soto was the first to step forward when he singled in the sixth inning on a 0-2 pitch from Mike Pelfrey to tie the game at 2. An inning later, Melky Cabrera singled to left center to drive in Abreu, who singled with two outs and moved to second on an Adam LaRoche walk.
Adam Eaton doubled in Carlos Sanchez, who doubled, with two outs in the eighth inning. And Gordon Beckham doubled in LaRoche in the ninth, to extend the team’s lead to four runs.
[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]
The White Sox were 5-for-16 with runners in scoring position. Not bad for a team that had gone 18-for-105 (.171) since posting five hits with RISP in a June 3 win over the Texas Rangers. Even more impressive is that it came after the White Sox left them loaded in the first inning with only one out and stranded two more in the second against Pelfrey.
“After the first inning you could fall into a trap of it’s not happening and guys stayed with it,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “(Two-out hits) are always important. You feel like you always leave them out there.
“When you get two-out hits it hurts the other side. We know what it feels like when it happens to us and guys grinding away, Gordon there in the last inning getting some and taking care of it. Any time you add on and just get those to squeak through with two outs, you kind of wear away the other side.”
Since they went 5-for-12 with runners in scoring position in a 9-2 win over the Texas Rangers on June 3, the White Sox have hit .171 as a team. Before the slump, the White Sox were hitting .270 with runners in scoring postion. The team’s average dropped to .250 heading into Tuesday’s victory.